Cecil B Demille's silent feature film version of Owen Wister's novel "The Virginian" starring Dustin Farnum.
A cowboy romances the local school teacher and helps apprehend a gang of cattle rustlers.
June 7, 2014
Deserves Its Fame
Having seen the sound versions of this story, both the 1929 version with Gary Cooper and the 1946 version with Joel McCrea several times more or less, and read the book a couple of times, I was still amazed with the original. Even though it is 100(!)years old, it held surprises for me. I was surprised at the compact story and the tight editing, which while not over simplifying the story, was not over-wrought by the acting styles usually associated with silent films. We all have seen parts of "The Virginian" in some form or another in countless westerns and others. This, to me, is a fresh look at the beginning of how it was meant to be done. The baby-switching scene was probably overly long, but still funny. The staging could have been a little better in the saloon scenes, but for 100 years old, I'll take it. Dustin Farnum makes a somewhat bland hero, but it's his role to originate. The Star is Director DeMille whose direction and editing is the elements that make the picture what it is. A MUST for buffs and anybody else who might be interested. Good picture quality. No sound. Enjoy. (In the interest of complete disclosure, I am a published author of Western Fiction. My latest book "The Can't Miss Kid" is available at all the regular places and also in e-book form at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Look it up. Thanks!)